It goes without saying that most banks don't want to advertise what you should do to close an account with them. They don't want to lose your business. Like most banks, SunTrust holds the information pretty close to its vest, but there are nonetheless some common-sense guidelines you can follow.
About SunTrust Bank
SunTrust Bank was founded back in 1984 and has branches in seven states and the District of Columbia. Its main office is in Atlanta, Georgia. It offers a wide range of financial services, from investment services and a security brokerage to personal banking. You can maintain – and subsequently close – a SunTrust checking account with them, but you'll probably want to reach out to them first to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible.
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Lay the Groundwork
It could be a recipe for disaster to simply close a SunTrust checking account without taking a few preparatory steps. You'll want to open a new checking account first.
If you're like many people, you have regularly scheduled debits from the account for monthly bills, such as credit card payments, insurance payments or maybe even that gym membership. Get in touch with each of these companies to have them debit from your new account going forward.
The same goes for any direct deposits your SunTrust account has been receiving, such as your paychecks. Make sure your employer has the correct routing number and other required information for your new bank account.
Empty Out Your Account – Almost
You can withdraw the money from your SunTrust Bank account when you're sure no further debits are going to hit it and no future deposits will be sent there. It might be a good idea to wait at least a month to make sure all your changes have gone through cleanly.
You'll want to maintain your required minimum monthly balance in the SunTrust account during this time to avoid getting hit with a monthly maintenance fee. The magic number is $500 if you have a SunTrust Essential Checking account, but you can avoid this if you make 10 or more transactions from the account or receive $500 or more in direct deposits.
Either transfer the funds to your new account or take the cash out, leaving just enough to cover any debits or fees that might still hit. It's important to take the money before you actually close the account. Otherwise, you'll probably have to wait for the bank to send you a paper check for any balance that remained in the account when you shut it down.
Closing the Account
The most surefire way to close any bank account without undue complications is to visit a local branch and do it in person. You'll most likely have to sign a form to make it official. Call ahead to the SunTrust Customer Service Department at 800-786-8787 to nail down the process and find out what documentation, such as ID, you should take with you.
The SunTrust Bank website is set up for online and mobile app banking, so you can also check your options for closing the account through either access – but again, don't expect a banner headline inviting you to do so. Ask about closing your account through the Chat tool if you can't easily find any information.
The bank also has a special telephone number for online and mobile banking: 800-382-3232. You can call for guidance if you can't find a close-your-account option and the chat feature isn't helpful.
Two Potential Problems
It's possible that your account can't be closed because it's been sitting idle for a period of time. You might have to take an extra step in this case to first reactivate it.
And your account might not be closable if any of those debits did hit while you weren't switching accounts and they resulted in a negative, overdrawn balance. You'll have to bring your balance back to zero first.
When You’ve Closed the Account
Make sure to ask for copies of all documentation related to closing the account. Keep a record of all contacts you made with the dates and times you made them, and get the names of anyone you speak to. This advice comes straight from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Don't assume your account has been closed simply because someone with the bank told you it was.
Finally, shred that debit card and checkbook you won't be needing anymore when you're sure of the account's closed status.
- Policygenius: How to Close a Bank Account
- Bloomberg: SunTrust Banks, Inc.
- SunTrust: Customer Service Center
- SunTrust: Understanding Personal Banking
- Doctor of Credit: Complete List of Ways to Close Bank Accounts at Each Bank
- Forbes: How to Close a Bank Account
- SunTrust: Earn $200 With a New Essential Checking Account